A Shattered Peace
For more than half a century, it has been widely recognized that the unfettered revenge against Germany and the Austro-Hungarian Empire that was the cornerstone of the Treaty of Versailles created the circumstances that led inevitably to World War II. Less acknowledged and understood is the treaty's profound impact on many other parts of the worldan impact that echoes to this day in the Middle East, the Far East, the Balkans, and, yes, in Iraq.
In A Shattered Peace, veteran foreign correspondent David A. Andelman takes a fresh new look at the Treaty of Versailles as the point of origin for many of today's most critical international issues. This revealing history exposes the powerful lessons that a six-month period in a long ago era has for us today.
Andelman turns the spotlight on the many errors committed by the peacemakers that led to crises and bloodshed from Algeria to Kosovo and wars from Israel to Vietnam. Focusing on the small nations and minor players at the negotiations, including figures such as Ho Chi Minh and Charles de Gaulle who would later become boldfaced names, he traces the outcome of the deliberations through the history of the twentieth century and into the twenty-first. His conclusion is ominous: not only did the paternalism, ignorance, and self-serving approach of the Great Powers who sculpted the treaty lead to disastrous consequences that were predicted at the time, but current policies of the world's developed nations frequently repeat and reaffirm the same mistakes.
Andelman also paints a vivid picture of the glittering and often chaotic social whirl that accompanied the negotiations. Elsa Maxwell threw her first party; young Franklin Delano Roosevelt flirted with Parisian widows to the humiliation of his wife, Eleanor; princesses and young gentlemen in formal attire danced gaily to the hot new sound of American jazzall this as prime ministers Georges Clemenceau and David Lloyd George ogled huge maps, dividing up territories and cementing their nations' positions as leading world powers for decades to come.
Complete with insightful quotations from the diaries and correspondence of participants and previously unpublished photographs of the proceedings and their surroundings, A Shattered Peace will change the way you think about twentieth-century history, its influence on current events, and where we should go from here.
The Versailles peace conference, held between the Allied victorious powers and Germany following World War I, attempted to create a lasting peace-and parcel out the world. The great powers felt that they should inherit much of it; inhabitants of the countries to be parceled out felt otherwise. The shortsightedness of the conferees produced a world that fragmented in unexpected ways and arguably generated a century of continuous conflict. With chapters on some of those present, such as the young Ho Chi Min, on the shared goals of Emir Feisal and Chaim Weizmann, and on the abortive stab at making peace in revolutionary Russia, Andelman (executive editor,